Zambia unhappy with Uganda pitch

By Andrew Jackson OryadaBBC Sport
Namboole Stadium, Uganda
Namboole Stadium, Uganda

Zambia have lodged an official complaint with the Confederation of African Football about the state of the Namboole Stadium pitch in Uganda.

The African champions are scheduled to meet the Cranes at the venue in the second leg of their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on 13 October.

But Football Association of Zambia general secretary George Kasengele has written to Caf stating that "the Namboole Stadium is not in good playing condition".

This follows a fact-finding mission undertaken by the Zambians ahead of next month's showdown in Uganda's capital.

The Zambians told Caf of their "surprise" that international matches have been played at Namboole Stadium all this time.

"We kindly request Caf's urgent intervention into this matter and request the federation FUFA to urgently consider rehabilitating the playing area and dressing rooms to internationally accepted standards," stated part of the letter.

"When people talk of the falling standards of the game on our continent, examples such as these brings out glaring truths," the letter.

The Zambians also took pictures of the playing surface at Namboole Stadium and submitted them to Caf.

But Uganda football federation's technical director Asuman Lubowa dismissed Zambia's claims and described Namboole as "one of the best stadiums in Africa".

"This stadium has hosted big games before and Caf is very aware that this stadium is good," said Lubowa.

He told BBC Sport that they are not even thinking of an alternative venue since Namboole is Caf-approved.

Zambia beat Uganda 1-0 in the first leg two weeks ago in Ndola.

The Cranes have already started preparations for the second leg as they seek to qualify for the finals for the first time since 1978.